Home Base

My Son Is Healed

He Just Doesn’t Know It Yet

Normally on days like this, I have many triggers regarding my son and the damage his addiction has caused, not only to himself but our entire family.

But today is different.

Today, I choose faith. Not HOPE, but pure faith. I’m not dissing hope. I’ve relied on it for months, year’s even. There’s nothing wrong with hope. Hope that things will get better, is what keeps people from sinking into an abyss of depression at times.

I’m going to get very vulnerable here. When or ‘because‘ hope hasn’t seemed to give me relief lately; I’ve been begging and bargaining with God to take my life in exchange for my son’s complete recovery AND my family to be healed especially for my son’s relationship with his kids to be healed.

(I know, I’m always trying to squeeze in an extra wish, but I figured I could get a 3 for 1 since they are all inter-related)

I also know this sounds very extreme. Before you suggest I go to a meeting and do self- care, thank you for the suggestion. It is what it is, I come to this place with much love and clarity have done a lot of self work. I’m not very well versed spiritually, or even strong in my faith but I believe in asking for help.

So, today I asked a prophetic dreams group that’s run by a lady I met; what prayers I should be chanting to facilitate my desire to fruition.

If this STILL sounds too weirded out, sorry. Desperate times call for desperate measures. My son is in jail on for his the second time this year in his 4th week. As stated in my previous whining posts, its been a roller coaster ride. And not the new flashy, sexy roller coaster, but the old wooden, creaky, break-down-at-any moment roller coaster (where they would casually say: “You knew the risk” if you were to get hurt).

So putting my question to a group of potentially spiritually-in-tune people was a desperate measure also. The answers I received, however, changed my perspective. This is a summation of what they said:

STOP trying to make deals with GOD! STOP immediately because deals are only made with the devil.
God ONLY wants Love & faith from you that he already sent his son to die for all our sins.

You can’t pay or bargain with God!

If you ask for healing you have to believe you have it, whether you see it yet or not, that’s the true test, do not confess what “is wrong with them” instead speak that they are healed.

Thank God that they are healed by his stripes, that he bore their sickness, thank him OUT LOUD for each promise, it could take a few months or sooner but stick with it everyday, do not let other people confess so called diagnosis over your loved ones in distress, either.

I start now.

I start calling my son into healing. I’m through letting him slide back into an excuse to blame the devil or some other entity. Evil can be fought. And if he can’t see it or say it, I will be his voice. He still has to be the one to do the work and to first DECIDE to do the work. So through the jail message system I sent my first born incarcerated son this message of not only HOPE but of FAITH.

"Your potential is not measured by your surroundings in the moment, but by the quiet moments of your heart. Where you ache deeply for your family and kids. Where your shame has pushed you into places and spaces that smothered you into numbness.

Whatever it is that pushed you into those conditions you're in; whether it was a society who said you wasn’t worthy of getting well; or your own spiral into self- defeat; you can come back.

Anytime, come back.

You’re needed. You’re wanted.

It might not seem like it.
We might be scared and worried at first, but it’s only because we care. We have been conditioned to fear the worst. So have you. That’s why it horrifies you to think of being that person you were before. After all – those were the days you needed to escape from. The stress and pressure of expectations and disappointment were off the charts some days.

What if you fail again?
Oh but my son, what if you don’t?
What if the last half or more of your life is filled with unbelievable joy? What if your kids and grandkids are gathered around you to hear your war stories? Not real war, but your days of the drug war. You won’t glamorize it, like alcohol is. You will tell the cold hard truth. You will tell those precious souls that evil starts small. With a thought. A nudge. A risk. A desire for something more. You will tell them not to be afraid or embarrassed to admit their concerns. If they are in over their head, it’s the right thing to do to seek help.

Come back.
So much love awaits you.

Please pray for mercy from the courts for my sons case Thursday- that he will be allowed to get help not locked up – prolonging his treatment. Thank you.

Home Base

Shudda, Wudda, Cudda

Today, I “should” be taking my son to rehab.

Today I “would” be thanking the lawyers, judges, and all jail personnel for their combined efforts of treating my son like a person who is unwell instead of like a dime store criminal.

Today, I “could” be exhaling a huge mega sigh of relief, that my son is on his way to true recovery.

We “should” be walking in the door with a hastily packed suitcase (by me) with everything he needs to begin his new re-set on life after 2 1/2 weeks in jail.

This was/IS his second time behind bars this year; and #6 overall. Yup, all those old jokes and sarcastic jail comments & jokes about our kids or others are not so funny anymore. And my son would have been the first to say them.

A circus performer was pulled over by a police officer for speeding. As the officer was writing the ticket, she noticed several machetes in the car. “What are those for?” she asked suspiciously. “I’m a juggler,” the man replied. “I use those in my act.” “Well, show me,” the officer demanded. So he got out the machetes and started juggling them, first three, then more, finally seven at one time, overhand, underhand, behind the back, putting on a dazzling show and amazing the officer. Another car passed by. The driver did a double take, and said, “My God. I’ve got to give up drinking! Look at the test they’re giving now

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/peoplejokes/prisonerjokes.html

It takes more than juggling, for a person with substance use disorder to NOT go to jail these days. They must prove that they are completely responsible and model citizens, according to society’s standards. I may be exaggerating a bit, but this morning, as I drug myself into work with the usual gnawing fear, of wondering if my son made it through the night; I find myself wondering: “why is my son in jail again? And being treated like a criminal-no less!”

It sounds like a no-brainer, I know; Until you’ve been there.

But here we were, facing years- yes, years- in prison; for possession. Possession of a substance that he used, in order to feed the cravings of his disease. I know, I know, that said substance is illegal. I get it, I do.

But I also know that there is no other disease, in which people can’t manage; that gets treated like this.

My son had a hearing yesterday, in which we thought he was signing a plea deal, after which, we thought we would scadoodle right on up to the rehab I had been communicating with for 6 months.

Since the plea wasn’t signed at the hearing, we couldn’t request to be released to rehab. So back he went into “the slammer”.

A few days, I posted on Facebook a rude email the lawyer had written me asking me if I support my son breaking the law.

I was pretty upset about the demeaning and condescending tone of it, so I didn’t even respond. Besides, it’s seriously a stupid question. Of course, there were comments on my Facebook page after I posted it, asking the same thing. “Well, do You? Don’t you think your son deserves to pay the consequences of breaking the law”? My emotional tank was on empty from receiving the email, so I didn’t feel the need to argue with someone who obviously has zero sympathy for prisoners who were addicted.

No, I don’t condone ANY illegal activity. No, my son isn’t a victim of a disease that leaves him unable to know right from wrong. But I do know that the desperation and progressive nature of the disease, leaves them unable to care when the lines are crossed.

I also know that shaming and blaming and the current punishment system don’t seem to work.

After my sons first arrest, he got on the family thread and said, “Im so sorry for embarrassing you. This is awful”. Not one person said one thing to him except me: “we just want you better, son”
He went on to have 4 more arrests until this week, the culmination of all the charges and sentencing to ensue. 😭

If shaming and blaming worked my son would NEVER have allowed himself to be arrested again.

If punishment worked, my son would have quit his disease, the minute the judge, lawyers and cops berated him the first time for not controlling his behavior.

If inflicting more trauma & pressure worked on a traumatized brain who KNOWS it has failed in every single area of life- business, fatherhood, husband hood, financially and societal standards such as housing and occupation; then giving more fines or more jail time where they can’t possibly earn the money to pay the fines, would make someone magically become responsible at that exact moment.

But no.
It all takes time. Time in the proper environment of healing. Connection, nutrition, and mental support to heal all those pathways in the brain that have suffered into unhealthy thoughts and habits.

I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I don’t have any answers. I just do the best I can each day maneuvering through the prickly jungle of addiction and all its tentacles it reaches.

As for today, I am extremely grateful my son is relatively safe. The unit he was moved to today is a bit scary, but not scarier than what he was doing while out.

Despite my ambivalence for the success of long-term incarceration; I Thank my God every day for the possibilities this short-term jail “visit” can provide.

Home Base

The Scream

The scream.

Johann Hari nailed it.

Except my scream is buried inside me.

I go through my day in auto mode. The little problems, the endless chitter-chatter.
Someone needs a bandaid or an Electrocardiogram.

A mom of one of my patients wants to talk about vitamins.

Vitamins!!!!!

What about oxycodone? Or Heroin? Let’s talk about that evil bastard that ruined my life the last few years.
But I can’t. I have to pretend I care.
I have to BE NICE.
Professional.
I can’t think of my son sitting in a jail cell with a bullet hole in his leg.

Continue reading “The Scream”
Home Base

A Patch in The Grass

I bought this piece of grass specifically for my little Chihuahua to “go” outside on.

When I bought it, it didn’t ‘appear’ to have a dead spot.

I noticed another stack of sod had the dead spot. Obviously, they had a disease or some sort of malfunction in the seed or its development. But there were a few stacked up that didn’t. They “looked” normal, healthy. I picked from those. I thought I was good as gold.

My grass will never turn brown, It’s from a different breed. I’ll water it every day and give it sunshine & rake the weeds out. All the things.”

This picture is one month later. The spot appeared almost immediately. In panic, I tried everything: Dragging my hose through my house to water it (small condo living); sprinkled it with love and fertilizer and even coffee grounds! It persisted in it’s trajectory of showing up different.

I thought about that green grass and my babies. We “get” them as they are green and cute and innocent with no signs of trouble ahead. Even though we don’t have a “keep the sod green instruction manual”, we’ll be fine right? As long as we provide everything for their growth, we are bound to see the results we expect right?

When those first patches of brown appear, such as with substance abuse; we may panic a little. But our inner calming spirit tells us we are overthinking it because of the thousands of thoughts we’ve had before that turned out to be nothing. Someone may have told us we were being paranoid.

Of course. Why would MY child do THAT? They didn’t grow up in a brown patch sort of house. They wasn’t abused or given alcohol. Their every move wasn’t controlled, pushing their little independent spirits & feelings deep down inside them, haunting them until later, when their demons came out in full force.

No. 

They were free-loving country adventure-after-adventure kind of kids. How could this be a problem? How could there be a dark brown spot lurking there just awaiting the right set of circumstances to show its true ‘colors’.

Well, it did. Whether it was there all along or developed as a result of intense stress that life throws at an already vulnerable base.- it was here to show just how ugly it can be.

What to do, what to do…..

Yell at it? Berate it? Lock it up with a little chain link fence around it telling it to be like the other strong green blades of grass around it or ELSE?

That should do it. That should scare it into compliance.

After all, no one should DARE to turn brown in this war on drugs. As people look upon them with disgust and tell them they only get one or two or three chances and THAT’S it! Narcan? Pfewwww. You better learn the first time dude, or we will just watch you die – that will send a STRONG message to other vulnerable and lost people not to cross the line of when it’s socially acceptable to take something for the pain or emotional discomfort but not get addicted.

Everyone knows where that line is, right?

Maybe I’ll just try to love it.

Maybe I’ll just accept it where it is but not leave it there.

Yesterday, the otherwise green child of mine called from jail. He is in his Brown patch of life. His brain is riddled with confused fiery darts of hell telling him to get back out there and continue this gig just a little longer. But my boy is still there. He thanked me for answering. He said thank you for never giving up on me. He said:

“Please don’t ever give up on me- you don’t know what it feels like to have someone on the outside rooting for you.”

No he didn’t want anything. He had one 2 minute call in 4 days, he could have used it for requests or rudeness while his brain is mucked up with confusion. Instead he used it to thank me and my husband for not giving up on him.

That brown patch is begging for acceptance. It knows deep down that it’s not who it truly is. It knows it’s destined for greater things. It just can’t see the forest for the “dead trees”. It’s like honey I shrunk the kids and he’s in the center of that brown spot not able to see the solution.

I can help with that view.

I can stand in the gap between a future life of joy and his present life of turmoil and strife.

I can lead the way. Just like when he was a baby and scared to stand up and walk across the room to the couch. What if he fell? I can encourage him that’s it’s worth the risk.

"GET UP!! You CAN DO it!! You will never look back if you master this. 

Just walk to me son. ❣💙❣

1000 Last Goodbyes, Home Base

The Snake’s Venom

Excerpt from 1000 Last Goodbyes -Healing Fom Life With an Addicted Loved One

I carefully made my way up the steep rocky mountainside with my well-worn hiking boots; my Levi curvy shorts above my black garbage bag wrapped legs.  It was a hot June day in the desert, just a few hours from my house. My husband was ahead of me with the pic and hammer. That’s right, a pickaxe and hammer. I’m sure we were a sight to see. That is, if there had been another human within miles of the hot dusty desert. Him, with his ax-looking equipment and me in shorts and hiking boots, and the black rustling plastic sticking to my now sweaty legs.

Despite being deathly afraid of snakes, I had forgotten to wear pants, so I figured the plastic was akeen to wearing gloves as a nurse-to take the sting out of a rattlesnake bite. Needle sticks can be less dangerous if they go through the plastic into your skin, rather than a prick without a barrier. 

We were there to find some quartz crystals or more specifically: smokey quartz. It was found in long sparkly veins that ran through the slick, hard granite rock. The quartz wasn’t quite as hard, so it could be pryed out, with some effort.

We were avid rockhounders. Searching the deserts and mountains for precious gems like topaz or amethyst or just plain old pretty rocks such as chert or agate. The garbage bags tied around my legs were because of the threat of rattlesnakes who loved to hide in the eaves of the rocks to find shade from the blistering sun. They also didn’t like their shady spot invaded, and would strike out if surprised, so I started my usual whistling-as-I-walked, keeping my sunglasses off and watching 180 degrees in all directions.    

Normally when out rockhounding, I start to feel the fresh air encapsulate my being and I embrace the freedom of having nowhere to go and nothing to do. The focus of looking for rocks while noticing the landscape and the beautiful clouds wafting across the blue sky, is mesmerizing to me. It’s similar to riding on a motorcycle. The breeze, the scenery whizzing by- like the background of a movie; the focal point of the scene playing out in front while the world and all its problems are oblivious in the background.

Today, however, besides being afraid of the snakes, I was in gut-churning turmoil. My son had been in jail for 47 days. His longest stint so far. It had been a rollercoaster ride of solitary confinement, rehab searching, and lawyers antics.

So, little did I know, that the minute the 30 days expired, they would let him out. Without even a hearing of what rehab we had found or anything. 

That day was today, a Saturday. I had been communicating with my son via the jail messaging system for a couple of weeks and had some wonderful conversations. He had been reading a lot and seemed to have his head clearing up. That morning he had read my message but didn’t respond, and when I sent another one-the flashing message came up that said, “This inmate is released. This conversation has ended”. 

My body froze in fear. NOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOO! This can’t be happening!!

He cannot just GET OUT!!! I wanted to scream! But I was determined to not ruin my husband and I’s day of rockhounding. I swallowed the lump in my throat and squelched the tears forming behind my flushed face, and switched to Facebook messenger. I proceeded to tell my son to PLEASE, PLEASE GO SOMEWHERE SAFE!!I knew the risk of an overdose right out of jail. I knew he didn’t have anywhere to go except right back into the same environment that he got sick in.

I had anticipated this day, as a ride to rehab with a stop on the way to an addiction doctor I had been communicating with, for a Vivitrol or Sublicade shot. I had envisioned finally seeing my son after 13 months with his fresh, jail weight-lifted, non-scrawny, non-homeless body and new outlook on life.

I messaged his friend in a rampage of messages to please don’t let him overdose, and please give him a ride to the clinic, first thing Monday morning for an injection. (Yes I had talked to them and verified his insurance which was ‘paused’ while in jail- a fact that I wasn’t aware of- which caused a lot of problems finding a rehab to be released to).

Despite these pleas, I knew he wouldn’t make it until Monday without using. The process of detoxing and waiting the 7-10 days for the injection would be impossible now.  Releasing a hard-core addict on a Saturday afternoon with no stable housing, job, car, bank account or support system or meds for the cravings that yes should be gone, but the mental obsession for sure wasn’t; seems like a HUGE crack in the system. Then expecting them to show up Monday morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to solve all their legal problems with a great attitude.

Something had to change. If my sick, out-of-control, hijacked irresponsible son wasn’t going to, then I was going to change the system. I immediately looked up the area state senator. I penned out a descriptive letter of what I thought could improve the system such as a mandatory 72 discharge “leverage house,” where they can acclimate from jail and be guided toward recovery and housing solutions. I later received a long response of everything that the state was doing to combat the drug war such as a recent traffic bust which confiscated so many lbs of meth. So basically what the last 50 years of the war on drugs, have failed to solve. Ok, got it.

Those drugs will be replaced in no time, driving the price up and increasing the risk that they’ll be cut with more deadly crap to make them even more profitable for the big wigs who never get caught.

I was defeated once again.

Who would listen?

Who would help?

I had exhausted all my money, ideas and energy. I felt alone.

Among millions of heartbreaking families suffering the same feelings, I felt alone.

Where would this end? Would my boy be one who is in the meetings telling his amazing recovery story? Or would I be placing balloons on his grave?

The only one who knew the answer to that, wasn’t talking. My God, my sole Savior that I had begged and pleaded with for 2+ years for this “problem” to be resolved, was as silent as that hot, deserted desert. I could still hear my rustling plastic bags in the wind; waiting for the snakes venom to strike -out of nowhere. As of this moment, that venom didn’t even scare me. The sharp fangs holding deadly poison was nothing compared to this piercing heaviness in my heart. The plastic couldn’t protect me from this.

I wanted to lie down and drown in the dust of my sorrowful misery.

Would this actually be my final last goodbye?

Home Base

Take A Step Back

This was the message that I received loud and clear last Friday, after hitting brick after brick in the wall of my sons incarceration/ court/ addiction / recovery/ ORS journey.

My frustration turned to self reflection that perhaps ‘I’ was trying too hard {again} to guide his recovery- instead of him doing it.

It’s true, he needed assistance. He was in such severe withdrawals from being a twice- a-day IV heroin & meth user that he used on his 5th day in jail. He was placed in solitary confinement for 21 days they brought him out only for his hearings where the judge and the opposing child support attorney would berate him for his failure in life. Yet orders were given to find treatment while serving a 30 day arrest they imposed on him. So not only did he receive 2 felonies for the drug usage in a “government facility” -because he couldn’t “suddenly quit” a disease he’s had for over 3 years- but he was to immediately become responsible and display rational thinking.

I’m not condoning any of his actions or saying he shouldn’t pay the consequences of his actions. I’m just saying that I, as his mom, still love him as a human, despite being broken, ashamed, yet still prideful, and certainly not well. The court and others, focus on his wrongdoings & inflict that punishment as they see fit.

So I went to work on the research that I thought I was prepared for. As stated in my previous post on rehabs, I knew what to do. It just didn’t seem to be working after two weeks of trying.

I had to have a “come to Jesus moment” as the saying goes. I said, to my higher power: “Ok, I get it. I’m obviously not the one who’s going to make any difference in my son’s recovery, so I will step aside and let ‘whoever’ will be more effective, to come in”.

On Saturday, he informed me that he didn’t think he could be successful at an inpatient rehab and was going to try to do outpatient. This meant that he would go back to his previous life of couch surfing, no car, and no official job.

I was devastated and angry. I guess I hadn’t really let go, but certainly was forced to now.

By Tuesday I had calmed down, especially when hearing his story of a man he met in there. A man who told him the following in straight prison talk language:

I know one thing you're a hard-headed mfer you couldn't be taught anything if your life depends on it cuz you're too goddam smart- you know everything right dumbA? I bet you didn't even graduate high school cuz you already knew more than them low-paid dumbA teacher's. I was like, "do you just talk to me cuz you need to constantly talk shit?".. he chuckled and said there you go interrupting. let me finish dumbA... he said what you lack in listening skills and brains you make up for in stubborn don't quit attitude. I've seen you push through workouts till you can't get in your bunk ect.. he said you want to change but don't know how. well its real simple. you want to be successful get back to work lazy and quit breaking the law. you want to loose weight quit eating. you want to get in better shape get off your ass and work out....

Despite all the prison talk, my heart wept with gratefulness. This hard core unknown man, locked up with my son, was teaching him more about life and himself than a few dozen classes might.

Things that I had tried to tell him in the entire last year of not seeing him and employing the obligatory “tough love”, which only pushed my son further into the drug scene.

The next day, a miracle clergy man that I had happened to find, was finally able to meet with my boy with 3 inches of plexiglass between them. He sent me this message after:

“I’m sitting here outside the jail, thinking what a good guy your son is. He reminds me of my son, who was addicted too & now has been clean 8 years. I gave your son a blessing and I will pray for him”.

It still gives me a lump in my throat to think of these strangers- caring about my son. My son has never done anything for them and they have nothing to gain, yet they showed kindness in their own way.

The very next day, my son read The Freedom Model book and was blown away! This was his idea of a do-able path to recovery. He was so impressed that he wants to go to their treatment center in New York. It would be perfect. Something he can put full-on effort into and the court would approve of. It’s also primarily for businessmen, which is perfect for him because he’s an entrepreneur. The only problem is, it’s private and extremely pricey. They have payment plans but its completely out of my monthly budget.

So I don’t know what will happen next week. If he gets released, it will be back to his old routine and game-on – addiction. If by some miracle he is directed (or forced) a different way, then I will be relieved.

This is out of my hands.

It’s between my son and God.

I can only pray that my son will find his way out.

Home Base

Plenty of Rehabs?

You’re driving down the street and see the sign: Cross Woods Recovery. Another street- Riverside Recovery Center. Beyond the city center is Pinesbrook Rehab. You think- “ahhh that’s nice, so many places for people to get help”. And it IS nice to have different options for different circumstances, & different insurances.

But since my son became incarcerated 32 days ago; I’ve had to take a deeper look into all of these- per judge’s orders.

The funny thing is, I HAD already done my homework, or so I thought. For over a year, I had researched instate & out of state rehabs. I have pages of emails of random rehab centers informing me of their admission policy. I even filled out a passport replacement application for my son to go to the West Indies to Eric Claptons rehab, because I was praying for a miracle to get the $14 k monthly fee. I figured out of the country-away from triggers, in a posh, famous rehab would surely fix him.

But now, when time was paramount, I ran into detours that I didn’t anticipate. Turns out: out of over 28 rehabs that I called or emailed; almost none would fit the criteria we needed this time.

This is a brief summary of my experience, after weeks of phone calls, emails, plus trying to get clarification from the courts on what exactly they would accept.

  • Haven- had prearranged this to be ready when the time came- suddenly they changed Medicaid insurances.
  • Turning Point- my 3rd fav.- had prearranged this as a back up- suddenly they changed Medicaid insurances
  • Steps- they take our insurance but it’s a $2500 room & board.
  • Ardu- same as above
  • Journey- $2000. This is my second favorite.
  • Diamond Tree- recommended by an interventionist I had looked into a while back – turns out the room & board fee is $6k! I would have had to pay his $ 5-6 k fee PLUS this one after the fact
  • Valley Camp – seemed perfect – outdoorsy-but they won’t take Addicted people from jail. If they’re out even for a day, they’ll take them. Judge says he won’t let him out until ACCEPTED by program. The program won’t ACCEPT him until he’s out🤯 Then I find out just by a casual comment that it is a 12 step boot camps which my son doesn’t resonate with anyway.
  • First Step- long term, which is great “normally” but my son is massively behind in child support since he never changed the amount asked which was when he was successful so he needs to work.
  • 7 Th Street- same as above.
  • Odyssey- same as above
  • Epic- co-pay only $4/ day! & he could smoke! But it’s 4-6 months minimum
  • Victory Homes- 1-2 yr Bible study. Would be wonderful; but when my son was in his first, rehab he called me the first night & said they had to encircle arms & sing Kumbayah. I told him that song is good for him, he’d be fine.
  • Phoenix-my 4th fav but we would have to switch insurances, so delayed coverage of when he could start.
  • Mountain Peak Recovery- My new #1 favorite! It’s probably a good thing I’m not rich because I would have handed these guys over 20 k to take my son. This is EXACTLY the environment my rehab-resistant son would thrive in. The outdoors, not forcing 12 steps or any linear recovery. Unfortunately they only take commercial Molina. This program is exactly what my son says recovery should be. They wasn’t interested after finding out we only had state insurance……I mean I get it..its a business. It just sucks…

I could go on and on. The point is, the system is so convoluted that it’s nearly impossible to find the right fit. Many told me I should switch insurances and hold out for the new one to kick in. I still may consider that. For now, I’m trying my best to help my son fulfill his court obligations while he has no resources to do that with, and with his still saturated brain that tells him he doesn’t have a problem- believe it or not!

Yes, the resistance factor of trying to deal with a stubborn, abstinent brain that “knows” what he will be successful at. Even with the court breathing down his back ( not to mention he is LOCKED UP!); he still thinks he can buy time. His disease has worked its way into his brain pathways that he still believes it’s lies.

Unfortunately, the way the legal system is set up for treating addiction, they will have no choice but to lock him up until he “caves”.

I know it’s easy to say, “he’s just not ready”/and that seems to be the case- for today. This is all the more reason for me to not bust my @$$ for certain ones that he might just bolt.

That’s what differentiates Addiction from other diseases. With most diseases, people will do anything to get treated. What we have to remember is it’s a brain disease.

With another brain disease, Alzheimers- you can’t reason with them either. They’re going to leave the stove on or get lost in their neighborhood, no matter how many times you tell them it’s for their own good and safety. The argument of no one gets Alzheimers per their own actions doesn’t matter at the point of danger & suffering. Do we tell people to deal with it if they can’t adequately function in life? It makes no sense to me to leave sick & afflicted people to fend for themselves & try to maneuver through risk versus benefits rational thought when That is the exact part of the brain affected.

But, we do have a punishment system that basically says, you do the crime – {the crime in my son’s case is only possession – for feeding the cravings of a disease he couldn’t control}.- you do the time.

With addiction, the window of opportunity to get them help is few & far between.

This is why I have come to embrace harm reduction and maintaining connection.

Please pray for another “window” for my son to receive treatment.


Harm Reduction tips & Myths of Addiction

https://mobile.twitter.com/MyHarmReduction/status/1403775714600554505

Misconceptions about how people change.

Believing that people must suffer to change/”bootstrap mentality”;

thinking change can only look one way and is linear;

thinking there is only one way to help;

expecting a full 180 overnight; etc.

Myths about addiction and substance use disorder.

Addiction is a moral failing;

People with SUDs don’t care about anyone or anything (including themselves);

Drugs create addiction so ‘anyone’ can get addicted;

Any help is ‘enabling’ etc.

My son just wants to start over. He wants to work and start repaying. He wants to take his kids camping. As I read these comments to Wendy’s hiring a guy jusy 10 days out of prison, I felt a ray of HOPE. Please pray for my son to get out of jail & save himself!

Home Base

One Direction

I realize why ONE DIRECTION picked this name for their band . It’s Genius! Yesterday I went to a meeting in a room where there was one of those butcher block wood tables. It immediately took me back in time, 20 years ago, when I wanted one in my kitchen for my little family. I looked and searched and saved. It seemed like it took years but I finally got it. Then it was on to the next project or “thing”.

Although tables are just things… it the MOMENTUM that I’ve been thinking about since then.

The seemingly mundane tasks of buying a piece of furniture, or clearing out weeds are couples making their dreams a reality. At the time it seems stressful. It seems like one more thing to do. It seems as if you will never have the money to do everything you want. It seems as soon as one child gets a bigger bed then the washer goes out.

But all these THINGS are LIFE… they are what keeps us going. It’s what keeps us accomplishing things- the HOPE of making things just a little better for those we love.

When you have NO DIRECTION, what do you do? You tread water. You’re a saddlebag-just along for the ride.

It’s called survival mode..we all do at it certain times in our life. When we are grieving, when we are healing from an accident, an illness, a divorce-we go on automatic pilot. But there are people who, for whatever reason: poor education, poor social skills, or addiction to alcohol or a drug…. seem to live in survival mode…. 😦

My parents were in that survival mode. I wasn’t raised to plan ahead. I wasn’t told that there are endless upon endless possibilities out in the world. There was no internet. I didn’t even know what existed outside of our little town of TURKEY LAND. I had to learn it all as an adult.

I wasn’t given the confidence to conquer the world or my demons and insecurities. I was taught ( shown) to be a victim- always less than. The tone was “you are a bypasser-someone who watches-watches everyone else move forward.

But I knew there was a better way. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to feel in control of my life. I wanted a perfect love, I wanted “perfect” children; like all the “other” families. (When you are in victim mentality, everyone else has it better).

And I worked hard for all that. I did my best. But the years that I prospered were when I had momentum. When I had a goal, a plan. Nursing school is one example. But the other seemingly mundane years of daily life, that’s where the real magic lies. We dont see it until later sometimes, when we are ailing, confused, or just wafting through the muck. We see the real benefit of knowing where you are going and how each daily task will get you there – or how it won’t.

My son is the perfect example of Momentum. In the middle of his senior year in high school, he was told he couldn’t graduate and didn’t have enough time to make up the credits. So he did every public educations commercials’ poster of “stay cool- stay in school”, and he dropped out. He went to work- and he went to work hard. He busted his butt, proved himself. He hooked up with people who eventually believed in him and he went to town. He has had momentum- he HAS momentum big TIME, and he accomplishes truckloads of stuff. From one end of the state to the other- building, planning, mentoring, budgeting. Creating a life of purpose. Building a beautiful new home for his family, Running his own business & being a fantastic foreman for a huge company. (that’s what he tells me anyway).

How does he do it? Momentum, passion & surrounding himself with the right support. He has a beautiful wife who fully supports him because they are LOOKING IN THE SAME DIRECTION. One definition of love is not gazing into each other’s eyes but looking FORWARD in the same direction.

My personality.. although at times I may seem to be a free spirit and sort of a gypsy, I do come alive when I have direction, when I feel safe, loved, supported. When people recognize the potential in me and appreciate my efforts and my uniqueness.There is NO BETTER FEELING.

When we are in a midst of chaos or confusion (& sooo many things contribute to chaos or confusion: gossiping, poor health habits, messiness & disorganization) ;that is the time to stop and ask ourselves, “Is this what I really want & will this help get me there?


I wrote this 5 years ago.

Today, this ‘momentum boy’ I spoke of, sits in solitary confinement for 12 days now, all for feeding the cravings of his disease and for possession of a substance that his body & brain decided long ago was necessary for LIFE & survival. It pushed out everything else. It took his momentum away from all the good stuff. He has lost ALL of what I mentioned: home, car, business, family & most of all, his drive, his hope, his humor.😢
He’s let out for his hearings for you twice a week so that the judge & the ex’s lawyer can berate him for his “choices” & lack of fulfilling his obligations.

It’s the saddest story of my life.

My family fractured, my grandkids kept away.

Oh, what was/is this supposed to teach us?
Don’t be too proud?
Always be grateful?

Life’s pressure to succeed is not more important than the body’s need to rest and refresh with the simple things.

And never take anything for granted.

Oh and never lose Hope.

Home Base

Solitary

My son has been in solitary for 8 days now, for feeding the cravings of a DISEASE. No one cares. He was denied a clergy visit on Tuesday. He hasn’t met with any counsel. In his hearings they just berate & shame him for his actions. (His actions while operating in his reptile brain in which the drugs take over- leaving rational thinking & empathy by the wayside).

My Momma heart hurts & even in the Mom support group I still get “let him go”.

Ughh.

HE IS HUMAN. With a disease, just like a heart disease patient eating at McDonald’s or a diabetic at crispy kreme, but we would never shame them for trying to get what they crave, let alone arrest them.

I understand the law is the law, but it’s a hypocritical law. A society that glamorizes alcohol and even some drug use (like cocaine in movies); immediately does a 180 & looks down on those who can’t stop and becomes addicted.

"It's just a matter of wanting it bad enough"

It’s just not as simple as that, it takes time and for sure exiling them to isolation like Napoleon was- clearly isn’t working.

Yesterday I heard an inmate at the same facility my son is in, tell the judge that it’s really frustrating to be put in solitary just for handing a magazine to someone else. The judge proceeded to berate him by saying, “I get mad a hundred times a day and I don’t lash out at other people or I would get myself in a lot of trouble. You have to learn a better way”. So the solution is to isolate & shame them even more than addicts already are?

This is from the state of New York. I wish there was someone from my state to advocate for my son. I’m exhausted.

Testimony of Corey J. Brinson
Policy Associate
Legal Action Center
New York City Council
Before the Committee on Criminal Justice
December 11, 2020

My name is Corey Brinson. I am a Policy Associate with the Legal Action Center. The
Legal Action Center uses legal and policy strategies to fight discrimination, build health equity,
and restore opportunity for people with arrest and conviction records, substance use disorders, and
HIV or AIDS. I am testifying in favor of eliminating the practice of solitary confinement in New
York City jails.
I have endured difficult times in my lifetime. I have endured the high crime and violence
of my inner-city neighborhood. I was stationed in Saudi Arabia with the United States Airforce
on September 11, 2001, and I reacted to the alarms indicating that we were at war. But the most
difficult experience I have endured is being held in solitary confinement for several days. That
experience of living in a cell, which was the size of a large closet, with no clock, lights that went
off at midnight, no privacy for sleeping, showering, and being feed through a slot in my cell door
was psychological torture. You can tell a lot about a country by how it treats the people it
incarcerates. Placing people in solitary confinement for any period of extended time is immoral,
unethical, and it should be unlawful.
People need meaningful social interactions with other people to maintain their mental
health. People in prison are already isolated from society. They are already isolated from their
communities and their families. And when they are placed in solitary confinement, they have been
essentially buried alive. Placing people in solitary confinement says more about us as a society, as
lawmakers, and as a community than what it says about the people behind those cold walls. I
acknowledge that we have made strides to reduce the number of people being subjected to solitary
confinement. The number of people who have been subjected to solitary confinement has reduced
significantly. But one person in solitary confinement is one person too many.
The laws in this state treat animals better than people in prison. Under New York Law §
356 “[a] person who, having impounded or confined any animal, refuses or neglects to supply to
such animal during its confinement a sufficient supply of good and wholesome air… is guilty of a
misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more
than one thousand dollars, or by both.” If an animal is worthy of good and wholesome air, then
should not a human being, who is subjected to the confines and cruelty of living in a closet for
extended periods of time, being granted the same freedoms as an animal? We cannot countenance
a law that treats people worse than we treat animals. Solitary confinement does just that for too

Solitary confinement damages the mental health of the people subjected to its cruel and unusual punishment.
When we damage the people in solitary confinement’s mental health, we damage their opportunities, we damage
their families, and we therefore damage their communities. It should not go unnoticed that a disproportionate
number of these people are Black and Latinx—evidence of the systemic racist criminal legal system. I ask that
you pass this bill and begin providing relief to the scores of people suffering in solitary confinement as we speak.
There is an argument that this bill is moving too fast through the legislative process. For the people who are cut off
from any meaningful interactions with other people, this bill is already too late. The Legal Action Center
encourages you to immediately end solitary confinement in New York City jails.
Home Base

Exiled to a deserted Island?

Napoleon Exiled to St. Helena, 1815

Or more like:

"A barren, wind-swept rock"

My eldest son, sits in solitary confinement for the second week now, because he is unable to manage his brain disease and the system STILL believes that more isolation and punishment will “Cure” him. So yes, I’m going to compare him to Napoleon, because to me- he is a warrior.

Napoleon was exiled to die alone stating these words as he was sent away:

“For what infamous treatment are we reserved!”  

Witness to history.com

The Emperor Napoleon
 After his defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, Napoleon retreated to Paris where (due to a lack of support from his military marshals) he was forced to renounce his throne in April 1814. The European powers exiled him to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean. Within eleven months, however, Napoleon was back on the European continent at the head of a hastily-raised army intent on restoring Napoleon to the throne of France. Napoleon’s defeat came in June 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.

This time, the European powers were not going to take any chances on Napoleon’s possible return. They exiled him to the island of St. Helena – a barren, wind-swept rock located in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Fall of an Emperor

Among the small entourage that accompanied the deposed Emperor into exile was the Comte de Las Cases who kept a diary of his experience:

“August 10

This day we cleared the Channel. We had now entered upon the dreary unknown course to which fate had doomed us. Again my agonies were renewed; again the dear connections I had abandoned resumed their sway over my heart… Meanwhile we advanced in our course and were soon to be out of Europe. Thus, in less than six weeks, had the emperor abdicated his throne and placed himself in the hands of the English, who were now hurrying him to a barren rock in the midst of a vast ocean. This is certainly no ordinary instance of the chances of fortune, and no common trial of firmness of mind.

October 23-24

The Emperor Napoleon, who lately possessed such boundless power and disposed of so many crowns, now occupies a wretched hovel, a few feet square, which is perched upon a rock, unprovided with furniture, and without either shutters or curtains to the windows. This place must serve him for bedchamber, dressing room, dining room, study, and sitting room; and he is obliged to go out when it is necessary to have this one apartment cleaned. His meals, consisting of a few wretched dishes, are brought to him from a distance, as though he were a criminal in a dungeon. He is absolutely in want of the necessaries of life: the bread and wine are not only not such as he has been accustomed to, but are so bad that we loathe to touch them; water, coffee, butter, oil, and other articles are either not to be procured or are scarcely fit for use…

Witnesstohistory.com

St. Helena Island
 We were all assembled around the emperor, and he was recapitulating these facts with warmth: ‘For what infamous treatment are we reserved!’ he exclaimed. This is the anguish of death. To injustice and violence, they now add insult and protracted torment. If I were so hateful to them, why did they not get rid of me? A few musket balls in my heart or my head would have done the business, and there would at least have been some energy in the crime. Were it not for you, and above all for your wives, I would receive nothing from them but the pay of a private soldier. How can the monarchs of Europe permit the sacred character of sovereignty to be violated in my person? Do they not see that they are, with their own hands, working their own destruction at St. Helena?’

‘I entered their capitals victorious and, had I cherished such sentiments, what would have become of them? They styled me their brother, and I had become so by the choice of the people, the sanction of victory, the character of religion, and the alliances of their policy and their blood. Do they imagine that the good sense of nations is blind to their conduct? And what do they expect from it? At all events, make your complaints, gentlemen; let indignant Europe hear them. Complaints from me would be beneath my dignity and character; I must either command or be silent.'”

"Either command or be silent".

My son always says: he’s either all in or all out… Which I think is similar….

I’m not comparing leading a country & fighting & losing a war to an addict’s journey…….butttttt if the shoe fits……

My sons shoes after 9 months “out there”

As I stated in this post, and as Pierre Tristam’s article “Addiction Not Being a Crime”:

“treatment works better when cut off from all these legal threats and penalties.”

As my son remains locked in isolation today; for the crime of possession, for a disease that he’s unable to manage; I wonder what good shame, isolation & more punishment does. He’s been isolated for over a year from family, he’s lost everything he worked for and cared about. His internal punishment is manifested in his continual self-abuse with substances and the almost homeless lifestyle. So to force someone to suddenly want to change seems like it would work, but most statistics show it just doesn’t.

"We are not going to arrest our way out of this crisis"

Please pray for all…🙏🌀🙏

“They” are not a criminal, they are a person with an unmanageable disease who is in unfortunate circumstances.